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November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Day Fantasy Outlook (G.Bay @ DET)

Here’s our look at who to start and who to bench on your fantasy football team for the Green Bay/Detroit game.

Green Bay
QB – Brett Favre
– Favre continues to post elite fantasy QB numbers on a weekly basis. In his last 2 games alone, he has thrown 6 TD’s and zero interceptions. He should have a field day on Turkey Day against the 30th ranked Lions pass defense. Favre is a must start for your fantasy roster in week 12.
RB – Ryan Grant – It is uncertain what Grant’s status will be for Thursday at this time. He was limited in practice on Tuesday with a mild ankle sprain, and expects to play in the game despite the short week. Grant has played very well since taking over the starting duties in week 8. He will be facing a Lions run defense which ranks 8th, but that is misleading because many teams are pass happy against them. The Packers will also come out throwing, but Grant is a strong candidate to find the end zone in goal line situations. If he plays, he is a solid starting option for your line up, unless better options are available to you. (Check injury report: ankle)
RB – Brandon Jackson – The only way Jackson has any fantasy value what so ever this week is if Ryan Grant is unable to play or has to leave the game early. At this point, it appears Grant will start, and even if Jackson does get the nod, he has done nothing to prove himself worthy of a starting spot on your fantasy roster. Do not start him unless you are desperate, and Grant is ruled out for Thursday’s game.
WR – Greg Jennings – He has started 8 games this season, in 6 of those games, Jennings has found the end zone at least once. He is a strong candidate to find pay dirt once again this week against the Lions 30th ranked pass defense. The Lions have given up 19 TD’s through the air this season. Only the Browns and Bengals have allowed more. Consider Jennings a very strong start on Turkey Day.
WR – Donald Driver – While Driver has had a solid season in the reception and yardage categories, he has done little to help fantasy owners in the scoring department. He only has 2 TD’s on the season, and has failed to find the end zone in 7 straight games. This week’s match up against the Lions 30th ranked pass defense will provide him with the most promising opportunity to hit pay dirt he has seen all season. Detroit has allowed 19 passing TD’s. At minimum, Driver should provide a solid stat line, and should be in your starting line up for Thursday.
WR- James Jones – Despite a couple of great weeks, Jones has been mostly delegated for mop duty as the Packers 3rd receiver. He has a favorable match up against the Lions, and a TD would not be out of the question, however, 3 or 4 catches for moderate yardage is most likely, as he will probably get lost in the shuffle as usual. Jones could serve as a decent emergency fill in for week 12, but do not expect much.
TE – Donald Lee – He has been on fire as of late scoring 3 TD’s in his last two games. He faces a poor Lions pass defense in week 12 which has trouble containing TE’s, so he could have another big week. Lee has not quite reached elite fantasy stud status, but he appears well on his way, as he has become one of Favre’s favorite red zone targets. If you have him, start him.
Packers Defense – They have been one of the better fantasy defenses around in recent weeks. They rank in the top 10 in both scoring defense and against the run. They face a Lions offense that has struggled to score points in recent weeks, but remain very dangerous. The Lions feature a potent passing game, and the Green Bay defense ranks a mediocre 19th against the pass. They may give up a couple of big plays here and there, but they should also be able to create pressure off of the edges to disrupt the Detroit passing attack, creating sacks and turnovers. The Packers D has moderately high value for week 12, and we recommended them for use in your starting line up.

QB – Jon Kitna – Kitna threw for 377 yards and a TD last week, but he also threw 3 interceptions. It is hard to anticipate what to expect from him on Thanksgiving against the Packers given his checkered past against them. The fact that he is at home and not at the frozen tundra plays heavily in his favor. He should be able to throw on them considering the Packers rank a mediocre 19th against the pass, but he will also likely see a ton of pressure from the Packers talented DE’s, which could lead to sacks and interceptions. Kitna should provide similar numbers to last week, and he is probably middle of the pack as far as fantasy QB’s are concerned in week 12. While he is far from being a lock, you could do much worse.
RB – Kevin Jones – After a pair of strong fantasy performances, Jones has seen his fantasy value drop drastically, as the Lions have once again returned to a pass first philosophy. In his last 2 games, he has a mere 21 yards rushing on 15 carries. He will likely be quiet on Turkey Day as well, considering they face a Packers defense that is 9th best against the run. Jones does have TD potential as the Lions goal line back, but you can never count on that. He has moderately low value overall for week 12, and is not highly recommended for your starting roster.
WR – Roy Williams – After several slow weeks, Williams has picked up the pace in his last 2 games totaling 12 receptions for 151 yards and 2 TD’s. The Lions pass happy offense should be in full swing again this week against the Packers 19th ranked pass D, so Williams could have another strong effort. He is much too talented to leave off of your starting roster, and should provide solid numbers.
WR – Shaun McDonald – He has provided fantasy owners with solid numbers throughout the season, and if he would quit fumbling, they would be even better. He is the one receiver besides Roy Williams that never seems to get lost in the shuffle of the Lions passing attack. McDonald is targeted early and often every week. He is unlikely to produce monster numbers against the Packers, but he is capable of a moderately high fantasy output. Consider him a #3 WR or flex starter in your line up at worst.
WR – Calvin Johnson – Johnson finally had a productive fantasy week against the Giants, after 3 lack luster performances in a row. He remains very unpredictable, as he tends to get lost in the shuffle of potential targets for Kitna. While he has provided 3 or 4 solid games this season, he is yet to have that monster breakout game we have all been expecting. We believe it will happen, and it very well could be on Thanksgiving, but do not count on it. We recommend him as no better than a #3 starter for your roster. Potential only gets you so far in the fantasy world, but he has plenty of it.
WR – Mike Furrey – He was one of the biggest surprises of last season for fantasy owners, posting huge games on a weekly basis. With the arrival of Calvin Johnson and Shaun McDonald this season, Furrey has somehow been lost in the mix. He has provided fair numbers on a consistent basis, but has really done nothing to write home about. With this offense, Furrey could have a breakout week anytime, but based on his performance to this point in the season, we can list him as no better than an emergency fill in against the Packers.
TE – Sean McHugh – He only has 10 receptions on the season, as the Lions rarely utilize the TE position in their offense. McHugh is not worth consideration for week 12.
Lions Defense – They do rank among the NFL’s elite in creating sacks and turnovers, which can translate nicely on a fantasy score sheet. They also have done well against the run, ranking 8th in the NFL. Unfortunately, they are horrible against the pass, and they tend to give up way too many points. They face a very aggressive Packers offense this Thanksgiving which does not bode well for them. The Detroit defense has potential, but moderately low value for week 12. We suggest seeking a better option if possible.

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